A RETIRED dentist is hoping to save lives by passing on his expertise to nurses in Tanzania.

Stuart Cripps, 62, Winter Hill, Cookham, will be flying to Mwanza in the East African country in November to teach basic dentistry skills which are severely lacking in the region.

To fund the trip Mr Cripps and daughter Louise, 25, a junior doctor were tested to their peak.

They took on the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge - a climb of nearly 3,500 metres up Britain's highest mountains over three days.

Although daughter Louise had previously climbed Mount Kilimanjaro Mr Cripps said it was a new experience for him.

He said:"I've done a bit of walking but nothing as hard as this. Going up the mountains was easy it was coming down that was hard, they're so steep.

"But it went really well. We had dry weather and it was fine on top of the mountains. It was very beautiful, you could see spectacular views for 360 degrees.

"We managed it in good time and it was a fantastic experience. We did it in three days in a total of about 26 hours spread over three days."

Starting off at Fort William the pair travelled from Ben Nevis to Scafell Pike and finally onto Snowdon.

Mr Cripps said: "It was certainly an action packed few days and it was great fun - it exceeded expectations.

"The site of us getting out of the car at the end wasn't pretty. We were quite exhausted ."

The pair have exceeded their fund-raising target. Aiming to collect £4,000, they have achieved a total of £5,000 so far.

Mr Cripps, who retired two months ago after 30 years working at a practice in Beaconsfield, said dentistry skills were desperately needed in Africa.

"At the moment they have got no dentistry experience. If you get big swellings, the sort of stuff you don't see here, or a large infection then you could die.

"There could be cases where people lose their lives because of a problem like this so it's very serious.

"It's an important cause because it's giving aid to something that's going to be sustainable and I'm glad to pass on my knowledge. It's just something I wanted to do when I finished."

Mr Cripps, will be accompanied on the trip by six other dentists for a fortnight.

UK charity Bridge2Aid, who specialise in providing dental and community development programmes, have organised it.

To donate to the cause go to www.justgiving.com/stuartcripps